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The Gulf War, child nutrition and feeding practices in Iraq

Author: Smith M, et al. Nutrition Research
Year: 1991
Resource type: Article

Mary C. Smith Fawzi ScD, Walid Aldoori M.D. ScD, Wafaie W. Fawzi M.D. DrPH and Nagib Armijo-Hussein M.D. MPH Nutrition Research, Volume 17, Issue 5 , May 1997

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Abstract

We conducted a cross-sectional study, which included 420 children to investigate the association between feeding practices and growth of children 0–18 months of age, who were attending maternal and child health clinics (MCHCs) in Basrah city, Iraq, 6 months after the Gulf War in 1991. Children who were bottle-fed, had lower mean Z-scores for all anthropometric indices compared to children who were breast-fed. Similar results were observed for mixed bottle and breast feeding compared with breast feeding for weight-for-height and weight-for-age indices. The beneficial effect of breast feeding for all growth indices was not limited to the youngest age group, but was observed across all age categories. This association was modified by socio-economic status. Based on this study, breast feeding should be promoted for children up to 18 months of age and older, given its potential for averting child malnutrition and mortality. Breast feeding promotion should be coupled with nutrition supplementation for both pregnant and lactating women at risk. Nutrition supplementation should also be provided to infants 4–6 months of age and older to ensure adequate caloric intake. Given the current economic situation in Iraq, adequate resources need to be ensured by the international community in order to sustain these public health efforts.

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Smith M, et al. Nutrition Research (1997). The Gulf War, child nutrition and feeding practices in Iraq. www.ennonline.net/gulfwarchildnutrition

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